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I didn’t blog in October

On June 4th, 2002 I wrote my first blog entry. It was on a platform long past its prime, though I imported it all to this self-hosted blog years ago. In a hilarious stroke of irony, my first blog post is entirely about how I probably won’t keep blogging, and here I sit over 17 years later as one of the few who still maintains a personal blog, let alone one that is in the format of a public diary.

As my life has changed over the years, the quality of my writing improved and I’ve become much more selective about what I write. It was only my love for history that kept me from deleting my oldest posts that show a naive 20 year old blabbering into the nothingness that was an anonymous internet pre-social media. I aired opinions about all sorts of things and wrote about random thoughts that came into my head, sometimes multiple times a day. My life was hella boring, but I managed to write. And keep writing.

In recent years, my blog has turned into a highlights reel. Instead of writing every day, my average has been closer to once a week. I write about conferences, trips, and brain dumps of the latest things going on with my life. I treasure my blog for capturing everything that I love about my life. I try to be honest, but I definitely have shifted to the positive and thoughtful with much of what I write now.

Through my difficult pregnancy and finally welcoming Adam into our lives, I didn’t miss a beat. My average this year dropped to writing every other week, but my blog is important to me.

I have written in my blog at least once every month since it started in June 2002.

Until last month.

I wrote no personal blog posts in October 2019.

At the end of October, while I was at LISA19, I had a moment of reflection about how I “haven’t blogged recently” but the conference was a whirlwind and I didn’t make time to pause. Perhaps if I had realized that the month would stand out like this I would have gone to bed a bit later one night during the conference just to knock out a quick entry about our trip back east at the end of September (a post that is still pending). But no, I enjoyed those child-free nights at the conference by sleeping, and as November swept me up in her cool clutches, I finally thought to skim through my archives and confirm what I suspected: I had never missed a whole month before.

So, why is this?

The obvious answer is the correct one: I had a child.

It’s more complicated than that though, since I did manage to keep up with my blog in those early months. Looking back since I last blogged on September 19th, I realized that I got sick enough to leave me bedridden for at least a day twice (stomach bug in early October, then a nasty cold last week). Being sick and recovering takes at least a week and a half, during which I don’t push myself and I make sure I get plenty of rest. Pushing myself was essential to keeping up with my blog and all the other things I do in my life after I finish work, mothering, and household chores.

I say “was” because I think I’ve reached another crossroads in my need to streamline my life. Before Adam joined our lives, I was accustom to the luxury of having large chunks of free time where I could “get in the zone” and accomplish a lot. I could let a “half hour free, here and there” go as not enough time to accomplish anything and crash on the couch to skim social media. I no longer have that luxury. That “half hour free, here and there” is often all I have without “pushing myself” and cutting into my much-needed sleep. I need to learn to be productive in half hour chunks.

So here goes. First is the realization. Now the commitment. I’m in! Now, I’m going to try a bit of time blocking to be very specific about what I want to do each day between end-of-day chores and dinner with MJ. With any luck, I’ll finally get that blog post about our visit back east at the end of September written soon.

P.S. Down time is important. I currently do have a slim budget for reading and watching TV, and it tends to be while I’m pumping breast milk outside of work hours. Being relaxed while I pump is important to my success, so that’s about 40 minutes a day (80 minutes on weekends) where I let myself relax to watch a show or read the latest chapter in a book. Also, I also fully intend block time every evening, but give myself some leeway to skip one if I really do just want to crash on the couch and browse social media. Parenthood is exhausting. My job is exhausting. Sometimes I just don’t have it in me to do anything productive. That’s ok, and I know it’s ok.